When I was little I used to love drinking a beverage made with barley that they make in Nicaragua. It's got a very feminine pink color and a somewhat thick texture. And at the bottom of the glass was a nice surprise of soft, tender seeds. To my young palate, that was the best part of the drink. (Actually, it continues to be!)
Later I learned that barley could be used in many different recipes, from breads and soups to glorious summer salads, as in this simple recipe. You can use your creativity and the raw or cooked ingredients of your choice to this salad. Maybe you'll want to keep it green, or perhaps you’ll make it completely colorful. The dressing also leaves room to experiment, and there are many different variations.
This salad is perfect for a picnic or day at the beach. Keep it in a well-sealed container and in a cooler so that it stays delicious, and enjoy it without guilt. You can use the barley to make light lettuce tacos or add it to pita bread with a bit of tahini; the result is spectacular.
If you want to skip the shrimp, I recommend serving it with chicken or fish kebabs.